Rachel Jarvis grew up in Norman, Oklahoma and studied cello at the University of Oklahoma with former principal cellists of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Dr. Marjory Cornelious and Greg Sauer. After moving to Texas in 1997, Rachel played with the TCU Symphony and String Orchestra, and was the principal cellist of the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra from 2000-2004. During this time, she studied with former principal cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony Dr. Harriet Risk-Woldt.
Rachel currently teaches private lessons in the Fort Worth Independent School District and is music director of the Mid-Cities Strings Chamber Ensemble. Her ensembles have performed at the Capitol building in Austin, the Gaylord Texan Convention Center, the Texas Motor Speedway, Casa Manana Theater, and for other civic events.
When not teaching and conducting, Rachel is a freelance musician and cellist in the Brazos Chamber Orchestra.
April Brenning began playing the violin in fourth grade in the Arlington Independent School District’s orchestra program and continued until she graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington where she studied violin under Dr. Robert McCashin and graduated with her Bachelor of Music in 1993. Ms. Brenning also learned fiddle music from her dad who was a western swing fiddler and played in many jam sessions during her childhood with family member. While attending college she served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Ms. Brenning began teaching private violin and viola lessons in 1996 for the Arlington Independent School District. After moving to Granbury in 1998, she started a private studio and began studies to become a registered Suzuki teacher. She created and taught the strings program at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Granbury from 2005 through 2013. Ms. Brenning taught private lessons for the violin, viola, cello, banjo and guitar in Granbury until 2017 and started the Hood County Community Orchestra. She currently is an orchestra director in the Fort Worth Independent School District.
Church music is a big part of Ms. Brenning's life. She has been playing on contemporary praise and worship teams since 1985. Playing in this environment helped develop her ability to play by ear and improvise. Ms. Brenning is also a member of the Brazos Chamber Orchestra.
Kimberly A. Payne began playing the violin at age eight. Ms. Payne is an accomplished musician of many methods and has played with various organizations throughout the states of Missouri, Florida, and Texas. She began teaching in 1988 for an after-school program of string players and has continued her teaching on and off throughout the years. Some of her accomplishments include serving as the Concert mistress for the Coral Springs Chamber Orchestra and Principal Second for the Broward County Symphony.
Ms. Payne was a Naval scholarship recipient and a 1993 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned a B.S. in Mathematics while playing for the University Philharmonic. She served six years as a Naval Officer, providing her an opportunity to play abroad in various countries and holds an M.A. from Webster University in Human Resources Development and Training.
Ms. Payne enjoys playing second violin for her string quartet, "Strings 4 All Seasons," and is the Assistant Principal Second for the Brazos Chamber Orchestra. In her spare time, she provides private violin lessons. Ms. Payne is happily married to her husband, Eric, and has two daughters, Claire and Gracie.
Enikő Walter-Howard began studying music in Hungary through singing folk songs and being exposed to the basics of music theory in first grade. After moving to the United States with her parents, she began playing the viola in the Fort Worth Independent School District's orchestra program in fifth grade. Later she studied with Laura Bruton, principal violist of the Fort Worth Symphony, Joni Baczewski, and Cathy Forbes. She received her BM with teacher certification and MMEd from University of North Texas, where she studied with Dr. George Papich.
After graduating from UNT, Ms. Walter-Howard became an orchestra director in the Fort Worth Independent School District. She taught fifth through twelfth graders in multiple schools until 2007.
Currently she performs with the Waco Symphony, Wichita Falls Symphony, and freelances in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
In addition to playing, she maintains a private studio of violin and viola students. Several of her students have placed in region orchestras.